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Hot Topics: Antacids Taken During Pregnancy Linked to Asthma in Children

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Pediatrics, Pulmonary

Acid-Suppressive Drug Use During Pregnancy and the Risk of Childhood Asthma: A Meta-analysis

Lai T, Wu M, Liu J, et al. Acid-suppressive drug use during pregnancy and the risk of childhood asthma: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2018. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0889.

CONTEXT: The association between acid-suppressive drug exposure during pregnancy and childhood asthma has not been well established.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on this association to provide further justification for the current studies.

DATA SOURCES: We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EBSCO Information Services, Web of Science, and Google Scholar from inception until June 2017.

STUDY SELECTION: Observational studies in which researchers assessed acid-suppressive drug use during pregnancy and the risk of childhood asthma were included.

DATA EXTRACTION: Of 556 screened articles, 8 population-based studies were included in the final analyses.

RESULTS: When all the studies were pooled, acid-suppressive drug use in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma in childhood (relative risk [RR] = 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35–1.56; I2 = 0%; P < .00001). The overall risk of asthma in childhood increased among proton pump inhibitor users (RR = 1.34; 95% CI 1.18–1.52; I2 = 46%; P < .00001) and histamine-2 receptor antagonist users (RR = 1.57; 95% CI 1.46–1.69; I2 = 0%; P < .00001).

LIMITATIONS: None of the researchers in the studies in this meta-analysis adjusted for the full panel of known confounders in these associations.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence suggests that prenatal, maternal, acid-suppressive drug use is associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma. This information may help clinicians and parents to use caution when deciding whether to take acid-suppressing drugs during pregnancy because of the risk of asthma in offspring.